The architect who designs sustainable and inclusive cities

You have a low-cost bioclimatic housing project in the pipeline

Can you imagine living in a city that is in harmony with the environment? Although for some it seems like a dream, the Dominican Republic has an architect who has taken on the task of designing sustainable projects, whose spaces, in addition to generating minimal impact, are focused on making its residents happy.

For Yermys Peña, a specialist in sustainable design and bioclimatic architecture, structures can impact people’s lives, from changing their mood to making employees feel engaged.

Despite these benefits, most architectural constructions do not focus on generating a relationship with their surroundings. “We wanted to have a nice city, but everyone built selfishly.”

Peña, who has focused on bringing well-being and health, points out that he has been interested in promoting buildings designed under bioclimatic and sustainability guidelines, because by integrating them it is possible to have cities that offer quality of life to their citizens.

In order for everyone to be able to participate and take advantage of the benefits of sustainable architecture, the managing partner of Construger designs low-cost bioclimatic homes, since she has assessed that for years this segment has been treated “in an unhuman way” .

She narrates, with evident emotion, that, through this proposal, she will allow the owners to enjoy structures “very well located, where their balcony has a good visual”, without having to make a large investment.

“A world of men”

In her more than 20 years in the professional practice, she has noticed that women are often relegated to decorating tasks. She argues that it is necessary to educate so that it is understood that women can also assume leadership in a construction.

“The most difficult thing is to be able to transcend, maintain your femininity, without falling into that equality of men, fight to be visible and because your work really stands out and bears your signature,” she says.

Peña has worked on more than 40 projects, both in the country and in Miami and New York. Currently, she works at Corporativo Vista 311, the first building to be certified as Leed Gold in the Dominican Republic, and Eco 23 Residences. She indicates that each initiative she develops helps her generate change.

“Each project is a new opportunity.” To achieve that transformation, she dumps all of her emotions and gets involved. “I try to see how to get the best result. For me the design of a house of 100 meters, because it is a minimum space, is a challenge and conquers me ”. Thanks to her work, she has been recognized in different settings. She emphasizes that “each of my projects is giving a different result and they are like children. It is difficult to say which one is my favorite ”.

The teacher, who throughout her career has developed various types of buildings, both residential and corporate, invites us to expand the radius of action. “Globalization right now is the secret of everything. We cannot stay focused doing work on four streets. The exchange of technologies and professionals from different countries enriches us all ”.

The Construger executive points out that it has not been easy to position itself in the market, since in the sector it is not always accepted that a woman can lead. “You graduate and they indirectly try to focus on decoration or take care of the design of the social area, but they don’t want to commission a building from you.” According to the interior designer, it is necessary to find a balance point. “It cannot be that we have more than half of the student body in the universities and in direction we are so short”.

Change patterns

Invite the architects not to limit themselves. “The training that we sometimes receive leads us to limit ourselves and to believe that it is not possible to dedicate ourselves to a branch of architecture.” She points out that it is possible to be a mother and successful in business. For this, Peña, who has three children, stresses that it is necessary to organize and understand that each role requires time. At the time of marrying and becoming mothers, many women “feel as though they are in debt and burdened with guilt.” However, she recommends having a balance. “It’s a question of quality of time, of knowing what your priorities are.”

She assures that it is necessary to educate men and women so that they understand the reality of the current world. “The best example I can give my children is to break paradigms and present them with another option, another way of being, so that
tomorrow they can have marriages where their partner has the same acceptance, the same support that they can receive from them ”.

Women are playing a fundamental role in our country. We have been climbing in some sectors, where women take two and three steps forward.

Challenges

Among the challenges that it has shown in the sector is to stop assigning a gender to

positions before evaluating the resumes of the professionals who apply.

“Many times we have a position available and note that from the outset it is already requested that it be a man. Women’s CVs are sometimes not even evaluated with more preparation, ”she explains.

She emphasizes that it is not about competing, but about having opportunities, which should focus on the different areas that the market is currently demanding.

“Everyone has something that he can offer or that he can give, regardless of whether he is a man or a woman,” she argues.

recommendations

Despite the fact that today he enjoys a successful career, during the beginning he faced multiple people who assured that his proposals would not be accepted in the country. “The fundamental value has been to keep myself aware, in the present tense, of what I want. Do not let the outside noise or the comment of a third party detract me from the path where I wanted to go ”.

She urges women not to listen to all the voices around them. “Know that this is only like a noise and that it does not penetrate you.”

Also, she recommends breaking glass ceilings. “There are still many professions that are very closed on the issue of the presence of a woman. It happens to me in the boards of directors, where, unfortunately, we still have a low number of women in management ”.

However, she invites women to identify little-explored areas in the market, train and earn their space.